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ber. These men, wholly devoted to their commander, and enflamed with a deteftable superstition, undertook to deftroy any Chriftian prince or leader, who became obnoxious to their party. It was vain to threaten them with punishment; they knew the dangers that awaited them, but, refolute to deftroy, they rufhed upon certain death. Some time before, the capital of this tribe had been taken by the Tartars, and the inhabitants put to the fword; yet there ftill remained numbers of them, that were educated in that gloomy fchool of fuperftition; and one of thofe undertook to murder the prince of England. In order to gain admittance to Edward's prefence, he pretended to have letters to deliver from the governor of Joppa, propofing a negotiation; and thus he was permitted to fee the prince, who conversed with him freely in the French language, which the affaffin understood. In this manner he continued to amufe him for fome time, being permitted to have free egrefs and regrefs from the royal apartments. It was on the Friday in Whitfon-week, that he found Edward fitting in his apartment alone, in a loose garment, the weather being extremely hot. This was the opportunity the infidel had fo long earnestly defired; and looking round to fee if there were any present to prevent him, and finding him alone, he drew a dagger from his breaft and attempted to plunge it into the prince's bofom. Edward had just time to perceive the murderer's intention, and, with great prefence of mind, received the blow upon his arm. Perceiving the affaffin about to repeat his blow, he ftruck him at once to the ground with his foot; and wrefting the weapon from his hand, buried it inftantly in his bofom. The domeftics hearing a noife, quickly came into the room, and foon wreaked their refentment on the


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perfidious wretch's body, who had thus abused the laws of hofpitality. The wound the prince had received was the more dangerous, as having been inflicted with a poisoned dagger; and it foon be gan to exhibit fome fymptoms that appeared fatal. He therefore expected his fate with great intrepidity, and made his will, contented to die in a caufe which he was affured would procure him endless felicity. But his ufual good fortune prevailed; an English furgeon of extraordinary fkill, by making deep incifions, and cutting away the mortified parts, completed the cure and re, ftored him to health in little more than a fortnight. A recovery, fo unexpected, was confidered by the fuperftitious army as miraculous; nor were there wanting fome, who alleged that he owed his fafety to the piety of Eleonora his wife, who fucked the poifon from the wound to fave his life, at the hazard of her own. However this be, it is probable that the perfonal danger he incurred by continuing the war in Paleftine, might induce. him more readily to liften to terms of accommc-. dation, which were propofed foon after by the fo!dan of Babylon. He received that monarch's ambaffadors in a very honourable manner, and concluded a truce with him for ten years, ten weeks, and ten days. Having thus fettled the affairs of Palestine, in the best manner they would admit of, he fet fail for Sicily, where he arrived in fafety, and there first heard the news of the king his father's death, as well as that of his own fon John, a boy of fix years of age. He bore the last with refignation, but appeared extremely afflicted at the death of his father; at which, when the king, of Sicily expreffed his furprize, he obferved that the death of a fon was a lofs which he might hope to repair, but that of a father was a lofs irreparable.

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Though the death of the king happened while the fucceffor was fo far from home, yet measures had been fo well taken, that the crown was transferred with the greateft tranquillity. The high character acquired by the prince, during the late commotions, had procured him the esteem and affection of all ranks of men; and inftead of attempting to oppofe, their whole with was to fee him once more returning in triumph. But the prince, fenfible of the quiet ftate of the kingdom did not feem in much hafte to take poffefiion of the throne; and he fpent near a year in France before he made his appearance in England. The honours he received from the great upon the continent; and the acclamations, with which he was every where attended by the people, were too alluring to a young mind to be fuddenly relinquifhed; he was even tempted to exhibit proofs of his bravery, in a tournament, to which he was invited by the count de Chalons, who defied him to a trial of his skill. Impreffed with high ideas of the chivalry of the times, he accepted the challenge; and propofed, with his knights, to hold the field against all that would enter the lifts. His ufual good fortune attended him; and his fuccefs had like to have converted a trial of fkill in:o a matter of bloody contention. The count de Chalons, being enraged at being foiled, made a ferious attack upon the English, in which fome blood was idly fpilt; but Edward and his knights ftill maintained the fuperiority. From Chalons, Edward proceeded to Paris, where he was magnificently entertained by Philip, king of France, to whom he did homage for the territories the kings of England had poffeffed in that kingdom. From Paris he fet out for Gafcony, to curb the infolence of Gafton, count Bearne, who had rebelled in his abfence. From thence he paffed through Mon


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treuil, where he accommodated fome differences between the English and Flemings. At length, after various battles, dangers, and fatigues, he arrived in his native dominions, amidst the loud acclamations of his people, and was folemnly crowned at Westminster, by the archbishop of Canterbury. The joy of all ranks upon this occafion was inexpreffible; the feafting continued a whole fortnight, at the king's expence; five hundred horfes were turned loofe, as the property of those who could catch them. The king of Scotland, with feveral other princes, graced the folemnity; and did homage for thofe territories they held under the English crown. Nothing, therefore, remained to complete the felicity of the people but the continuance of fuch profperity; and this they had every reason to expect from the king's justice, his œconomy, and his prudence.

As Edward was now come to an undifputedthrone, the oppofite interefts were proportionably feeble. The barons were exhaufted by long mutual diffenfions: the clergy were divided in their interefts, and agreed only in one point, to hate the pope, who had for fome time drained them, with impunity the people, by fome infurrections against the convents, appear to have hated the clergy with equal animofity. These disagreeing orders only concurred in one point, that of esteeming and reverencing the king.. In fuch a conjuncture, therefore, few meafures could be taken by the crown that would be deemed oppreffive; and we accordingly find the prefent monarch often, from his own authority alone, raifing thofe taxes that would have been peremptorily refufed to his predeceffor. However, Edward was naturally prudent; and, though capable of becoming abfulute, he fatisfied himself with moderate power, and laboured only to be terrible to his enemies. A 4

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His first care was to correct those disorders which had crept in, under the last part of A. D. his father's feeble adminiftration. He

1274. propofed, by an exact diftribution of justice, to give equal protection and redress to all the orders of the state. He took every opportunity to inspect the conduct of all his magiftrates and judges, and to difplace fuch as were negligent, or corrupt. In fhort, a fyftem of strict juftice, marked with an air of feverity, was purfued throughout his reign; formidable to the people indeed, but yet adapted to the ungovernable licentioufness of the times. The Jews were the only part of his fubjects who were refufed that equal juftice which the king made boaft of diftributing. As Edward had been bred up in prejudices against them, and as these were ftill more confirmed by his expedition to the Holy Land, he seemed to have no compaffion upon their fufferings. Many were the arbitrary taxes levied upon them; two hundred and eighty of them were hanged at once, upon a charge of adulterating the coin of the kingdom; the goods of the reft were confifcated, and all of that religion utterly banifhed the kingdom. This feverity was very grateful to the people, who hated the Jews, not only for their tenets, but for their method of living, which was by, ufury and extortion.

But Edward had too noble a fpirit to be content with the applaufe this petty oppreffion acquired; he refolved to march against Lewellyn, prince of North Wales, who had refufed to do homage for his dominions, and feemed bent upon renouncing all dependence upon the crown of England. The Welsh had for many ages enjoyed their own laws, language, cuftoms, and opinions. They were the remains of the ancient Britons, who had efcaped the Roman and Saxon nvafions, and still


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